Sundae on the Common



So last weekend I went to the Ben and Jerry’s Sundae on the Common in Clapham, and, unsurprisingly, the whole place was one big ad. Huge inflatable tubs of Ben and Jerry’s filled the whole field, stalls sold cow-print rugs and students wandered around in cow and macadamia nut costumes looking like enormous testicles (the nuts, not the cows, although to be fair…). And on top of all this, there was as much Ben and Jerry’s as you wanted, all day. All day.

And right now it’s making me sick just thinking about it. The planner in me wants to write about how it fits incredibly well with their target demographic, how the line-up was so drearily inoffensive that it attracted a ridiculously diverse group of people (including a hell of a lot of families with babies and really young kids, nothing like getting the sprogs hooked on Phish Food early), that the friendly, off the wall feel almost made you feel like you were in one of their TV ads in a cartoon field, and that with the whole thing being carbon-neutral and filled to the brim with people selling fair-trade and sustainable EVERYTHING, it did amazing work for the brand’s environmental credentials.

But I can’t. Because I ate so much ice-cream I wanted to die. Because no-one I saw leaving looked like they were in any way comfortable. Because right now I never want to even see a tub of Ben and Jerry’s again. Trying all the flavours (which was encouraged by a little card you got with space for stamps when you had each one, which if you achieved was rewarded by the chance to win a year’s supply of ice-cream – blegh) was awesome at the time, but now it just means that I don’t want any of them, ever again. Did they not think to look at the people leaving last year, to see what they were doing to them?

Then again, maybe it’s not even branding for the people there – great from the outside, not so much when your drowning in a pool of Baked Alaska. Maybe creating a few thousand ice-creamophobes is worth it in the long run? So, evil genius, or just plain dumb?

(Having said all that, the Mango and Blackcurrant swirl sorbet that I tried there was absolutely amazing, and if they ever bring out the legend that is Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream over here – god damn you america! – I might die from excitement/inhalation of waffle).

sundae on the common


One Response to “Sundae on the Common”

  1. Joel Diamond Says:

    you’ll be craving for it within a week, you’ll see…

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